View from the House: Mike Gapes, Ilford South MP

PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 July 2017


I called Commons debate to urge government not to close A&E

In my election address I pledged to continue to fight to defend, and to improve, our local NHS services.

On Monday night I called a special end of day House of Commons adjournment debate on the future of King George Hospital. I pointed out that the previous Conservative health decretary Andrew Lansley had announced the closure of the A&E in “around two years” from 2011.

That has not happened because it was unsafe and because there is insufficient capacity at Queen’s Hospital or at Whipps Cross.

The draft sustainability and transformation plan says the population of north-east London boroughs will increase by 18 per cent over the next 15 years, equivalent to a new city. But there is no plan for an additional hospital to cope with that change. Instead they still propose to close King George A and E in 2019.

However, managers at the Barking, Havering and Redbridge trust stated just last week that: “ At this point, nothing has been signed off by our trust board.” And that “no changes will be made until we have the relevant assurances that it is safe to do so”.

Conservative health secretary Jeremy Hunt told the Recorder during the campaign that he could not see it closing for “the foreseeable future “. I used my debate to press for the government to keep his promise, end the uncertainty and take plans to close King George A and E off the table for good.

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